BALI, 25 October 2021 – The NSLIC/NSELRED project and the Ministry of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration (Kemendes PDTT) facilitated a meeting between small business-holders from Buleleng, Klungkung, and Tabanan districts with national and international investors as part of a two-day event – Langkah Awal, Sinergi Besar (“first step towards great synergy”) – in Bali.
This event follows a similar business meeting focused on the Belitung pepper industry held in August 2021, which garnered strong interest by investors and stakeholders.
The Minister of Villages, Development of Disadvantaged Regions, and Transmigration, Abdul Halim Iskandar in his opening remarks conveyed that one of the priorities of the Ministry of Villages is the economic recovery of rural areas, through the Village Fund program. This fund seeks to empower local people in difficult situations, and particularly those who have lost jobs, who are single parents, or other marginalized groups, and is managed by the community for the community through the PKTD or or village cash labor intensity program.
“There have been many innovations in developing the rural economy that were born from the village and became the strength of the village. The innovations are implemented through empowerment and mentoring activities to increase the added value of superior rural products from upstream to downstream as well as strengthening village economic institutions – Village-owned Enterprises / Joint Village-owned Enterprises (BUMDesa/BUMDesma)”, he further explained.
As village-owned enterprises, most of the capital ownership of BUMDesa comes from the village. To support the legality of BUMDesa institutions and to run their business efficiently, the Government issued Law no. 11/2020 concerning Job Creation, which enables BUMDes to run operational businesses and operate a legal business entity (as an Investment Company).
In other words, BUMDesa is a door to promote economic independence and develop the economic potential of residents towards Kebangkitan Desa or Village Awakening.
Generally, the BUMDesa does not replace existing rural businesses but consolidates the efforts of the local people. In addition to carrying out economic activities, the BUMDesa also acts as a guardian of village cultural heritage assets.
“Through today’s Business Meeting, the Ministry of Villages seeks to further strengthen partnership cooperation with all stakeholders related to the development of local village economic and institutional potential. Thus, the objectives of the Village SDGs can be achieved in terms of Equitable Village Economic Growth (SDGs 6) and Village Development Partnership (SDGs17)”, said Minister Halim.
During the business meeting, NSLIC and Kemendes PDTT invited Astra Internasional, Elevania, BNI, Indonesia Eximbank, UKM Mendunia, TaniHub, Tokopedia, SEA Group (Shopee) and 12 other investors to see firsthand the products that are produced by approximately 500 farmers and artisans who represent 25 business groups in Buleleng, Klungkung, and Tabanan.
These three regions have received technical assistance from NSLIC through an initiative called the Responsive Innovation Fund (RIF) that aims to improve the quality of local commodities and products; strengthen local institutions, such as BUMDES and BUMDESMA; and build capacity of the beneficiaries. Through the RIF initiative, some products of Nusa Penida have been developed during the pandemic such as coconut chips and modified cassava flour.
In Buleleng, technical assistance was provided to improve the quality of palm sugar and bamboo handicraft products. As a result of this support, the artisans are now able to create products with new designs that meet market demand.
Canada’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Cameron MacKay provided opening remarks conveying appreciation and strong support for Indonesia’s efforts to support the development of the country’s micro and small businesses through the Canada-funded NSLIC program.
“This program has produced tangible results for local people and communities across Indonesia and particularly in Bali. Through trainings and technical support, local farmers and business owners were able to improve the quantity and quality of their commodities, diversity their products, improve their financial management and marketing skills, and access assistance to obtain required licensing and permits even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic”, he said.
Ambassador MacKay further explained that today’s event marked an important step for local businesses to flourish and expand as the project has facilitated partnerships with major enterprises that will not only buy local products, but also continuously provide assistance to small businesses on how to improve their products and grow their businesses. He encouraged multi-stakeholders present at the meeting today to help these local businesses to enter not only local and domestic market, but also to go international.
Furthermore, several products have also attracted investors. From Tabanan there are Pertiwi Organic Rice and Leak Coffee, ‘Uyah’ Kusamba Salt and Kella Soap from Klungkung, also products from Buleleng such as Kejapa Robusta Coffee, Amplem Sari Mango, Prani Eucalyptus Oil, Bali Green Caviar, and Strawberry Frozen.
During this business meeting, the Government of Canada through NSLIC/NSELRED Project also launched the Traditional Recipes Book of Bali Aga Buleleng. In addition, to preserve the traditional recipes of the Bali Aga community that have never been recorded before, this book also aims to support women’s business groups in Buleleng to build their culinary businesses in order to increase income, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The support is essential as the pandemic has severely impacted the informal sectors that employ many women workers, such as in the trade, hotel, restaurant, and service sector especially in the Province of Bali which relies heavily on tourism and other related service businesses. This book also promotes healthy and affordable local food to reduce stunting rates and improve maternal and child nutrition.
Several investors who had agreed to enter into cooperation with micro and small business-holders signed a Cooperation Agreement during this business meeting.
Astri Purnamasari, Director of Corporate Affairs TaniHub Group said that TaniHub Group will fully support the collaboration with government, NGO, and communities in this Business Meeting.
“TaniHub Groups sees the importance of agriculture and the rural economy in Bali built with collaborative efforts from various parties, so that farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can reach national and global markets. TaniHub Group hopes to play an active role in creating innovation in rural areas as we start from social entrepreneurs who want to bring change in Indonesia’s agricultural ecosystem”, she said.
The event ended with a visit by investors to several MSME locations to view products and further discussion with representatives of the MSME groups on opportunities for increased collaboration.